If you’ve been involved in a car accident or victimized in a targeted attack, you may suffer serious injuries including broken bones. Some kinds of fractures are more dangerous than others: Compound fractures can require heavy medical care even if a patient doesn’t develop complications.
A compound fracture, also referred to as an open fracture, refers to the combination of a broken bone and a nearby open wound. In some cases, the patient’s skin was broken by the bone; in others, a co-occurring trauma damaged the skin. These fractures are highly dangerous because infection is highly likely.
Doctors categorize compound fractures by the severity of the skin wound. They are split into three classes:
Even mild compound fractures require extensive treatment and could result in dangerous complications. If you or someone you love has suffered a compound fracture due to an accident, our team can advise you on whether a lawsuit can help recover compensation for medical expenses.
Reach out online or call us at (888) 821-4978 to set up a consultation.
Each year, 6 million fractures affect patients in the U.S. Around 250,000 of them are compound fractures. Though causes vary, most of these fractures result from high-energy collisions like:
However, the accident itself doesn’t have to be catastrophic to cause these injuries: simple falls or sports collisions may also be to blame.
Broken bones are usually marked by the sudden onset of pain. To identify a break from another type of injury, patients should look for the following symptoms:
Compound fractures may be easier to identify because the broken bone often protrudes through the skin. No matter the cause of the skin laceration, though, if it is near a broken bone the injury will be considered an open fracture. Skin wounds that are not close to the break can be treated separately.
The sooner a compound fracture can be treated the better, because open wounds are easily contaminated by bacteria. The first step a doctor will take is debridement—the removal of contamination and damaged tissue. They will then rinse the wound (“irrigate” it) with saline solution to ensure it is as clean as possible. Once proper steps have been taken to protect against infection, doctors will stabilize the bone and may close the wound (if small). If the wound is left open, it will be regularly cleaned. Large wounds may not heal by themselves; surgeons may transfer skin and muscle tissue from other parts of the body to cover them.
64% of compound fractures are contaminated, putting them at high risk for infection. The site of the injury, the wait time before treatment, the type of contaminant, and lifestyle factors all affect a patient’s likelihood of bacteria multiplying to a dangerous amount. Possible complications include:
Some of these complications can be fully treated with extra attention; others result in lasting damage or disability. You may be able to get help with your medical bills and other related expenses if you’ve suffered a compound fracture (with or without complications) due to an accident or another party’s negligence.
Johnson Beard & Trueb, PC is here to help if you or a loved one was injured in a catastrophic accident. Recovering compensation from insurance or via a lawsuit isn’t easy—but we’re here to streamline the process. Our experienced team can take on the heavy lifting so you can focus on your recovery.
Do you have questions about a compound fracture lawsuit? Schedule a free consultation onlineor call (888) 821-4978 to speak to a lawyer today.
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